Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta; March 28, 1986) is an American singer, songwriter and performance artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side. Lady Gaga soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, upon its establishment in 2007. During her early time at Interscope, Gaga worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal talent, and had her also sign to to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.
Her debut album The Fame was released in August 2008 and was a critical and commercial success. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, it went number-one in four countries, also topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. The album's first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, have become international number-one hits, and the former was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. In early 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the end of 2009, Gaga released The Fame Monster, an extension of The Fame, containing eight new songs with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.